NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale Announces New Exhibition: Cosmic Mirrors

On view from May 26 to Fall 2023, the show highlights 27 Haitian artists who illuminate facets of Haiti’s political history and creative abundance

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will present Cosmic Mirrors, bringing together some of the most striking artworks created by Haitian artists from the 1950s to 2000s. The exhibition, drawn almost exclusively from the Museum’s rich collection of over 160 Haitian art works features contemporary artists such as Serge Jolimeau (b.1952, Croix-des-Bouquets), Pascale Monnin (b.1974, Port-au-Prince) and Frantz Zéphirin (b.1968, Cap Haitien, Haiti), alongside masters of the Haitian Renaissance, such as Roland Dorcely (1930-2007), Néhémy Jean (1931-2007), Louisiane Saint Fleurant (1924-2005) and Ismael Saincilus (1940-2000), who in the early and mid-twentieth century, established the ateliers, movements and markets that formed the country’s modernist aesthetic. 

The exhibition is mounted in dialogue with the Museum’s concurrent show, Kathia St. Hilaire: Immaterial Being, the first solo museum presentation by the South Florida-born artist.As the child of Haitian émigrés, St. Hilaire combines found objects that act as symbols of Black American experience, such as packaging from hair relaxers and skin lightening creams, with visual and material references to Haitian culture. These combined elements create a visual representation of the St. Hilaire’s identity formation, growing up within the diasporic Afro-Caribbean community in Florida. 

The Museum recently acquired St. Hilaire’s Tout Moun Se Yo Moun (Everyone is Someone) 2022which was purchased with funds provided by the members of the Museum’s Curator Circle. 

Cosmic Mirrors provides viewers with a deeper context through which to orient St. Hilaire’s presentation, while also offering a unique opportunity to view some of the Museum’s most significant artworks connected to this Greater Antillean nation. 

The exhibition thematically guides viewers across an arrangement of work by 27 artists, both celebrated and unknown, that together illuminate facets of Haiti’s political history and creative abundance. Subjects include depictions of the nation’s founding, resultant of the only successful slave-rebellion in modern history, along with representations of the country’s spiritual syncretism between colonial Catholic beliefs and vodou cosmology, as well as depictions of the country’s lush terrain, romantically presented as a pastoral idyll. 

The exhibition’s title refers to the Haitian Vodou belief in a parallel universe, referred to as Laviloka or Afrik Ginen. This land is both real and divine, functioning as an inverse reflection of the physical world. This cosmic sphere is populated by the immortal spirits of the country’s African ancestors and spiritual divinities, and through spiritual ceremony, reaches into our own profane realm. Beyond this understanding of another dimension, the title points to the leitmotif of doubles, reflexives and equivalents, that are persistent throughout Haitian culture.     

Cosmic Mirrors showcases a selection of recently donated gifts to the NSU Art Museum Collection, presented by Carol J. Horning and Linda Marks. These generous offerings have enriched the Museum’s representation of Haitian culture, which remains critical to our mission to reflect and engage with the culture and communities that define our region. 

Situated midway between Miami and Palm Beach, NSU Art Museum is located in the heart of Downtown Fort Lauderdale. The Museum is a premier destination for exhibitions and programs encompassing all facets of civilization’s visual history and is widely known for its significant collection of Latin American art, contemporary art with an emphasis on art by Black, Latin American and women artists, as well as works by American artist William Glackens and the European Cobra group of artists.

About NSU Art Museum

Founded in 1958, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is a premier destination for exhibitions and programs encompassing many facets of civilization’s visual history. Located midway between Miami and Palm Beach in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s arts and entertainment district, the Museum’s 83,000 square-foot building, which opened in 1986, was designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes and contains over 25,000 square feet of exhibition space, the 256 -seat Horvitz auditorium, a museum store, and café. In 2008, the Museum became part of Nova Southeastern University (NSU), one of the largest private research universities in the United States. NSU Art Museum is known for its significant collection of Latin American art, contemporary art with an emphasis on art by Black, Latin American, and women artists, as well as works by early twentieth-century American artist William Glackens, and the European Cobra group of artists. Two scholarly research centers complement the collections: The Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman Latin American Art Study Center and the William J. Glackens Study Center.

Exhibitions and programs at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale are made possible in part by an endowment from the David and Francie Horvitz Family  Endowment, Taylor-Bryant Foundation, Connie Gordon, and Sansom Foundation. Funding is also provided by the City of Fort Lauderdale, Community Foundation of Broward, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Printing service